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sensory manipulation

Kerui Gong, Peter T Ohara, Luc Jasmin
Patch clamp studies from dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) neurons have increased our understanding of the peripheral nervous system. Currently, the majority of recordings are conducted on dissociated DRG neurons, which is a standard preparation for most laboratories. Neuronal properties, however, can be altered by axonal injury resulting from enzyme digestion used in acquiring dissociated neurons. Further, dissociated neuron preparations cannot fully represent the microenvironment of the DRG since loss of contact with satellite glial cells that surround the primary sensory neurons is an unavoidable consequence of this method...
September 29, 2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Clarissa J Whitmire, Daniel C Millard, Garrett B Stanley
Sensory stimulation drives complex interactions across neural circuits as information is encoded and then transmitted from one brain region to the next. In the highly interconnected thalamocortical circuit, these complex interactions elicit repeatable neural dynamics in response to temporal patterns of stimuli that provide insight into the circuit properties that generated them. Here, using a combination of in-vivo voltage sensitive dye (VSD) imaging of cortex, single unit recording in thalamus, and optogenetics to manipulate thalamic state in the rodent vibrissa pathway, we probed the thalamocortical circuit with simple temporal patterns of stimuli delivered either to the whiskers on the face (sensory stimulation) or to the thalamus directly via electrical or optogenetic inputs (artificial stimulation)...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Krisztián A Kovács, Joseph O'Neill, Philipp Schoenenberger, Markku Penttonen, Damaris K Ranguel Guerrero, Jozsef Csicsvari
During hippocampal sharp wave/ripple (SWR) events, previously occurring, sensory input-driven neuronal firing patterns are replayed. Such replay is thought to be important for plasticity-related processes and consolidation of memory traces. It has previously been shown that the electrical stimulation-induced disruption of SWR events interferes with learning in rodents in different experimental paradigms. On the other hand, the cognitive map theory posits that the plastic changes of the firing of hippocampal place cells constitute the electrophysiological counterpart of the spatial learning, observable at the behavioral level...
2016: PloS One
Federico Montagnani, Marco Controzzi, Christian Cipriani
The human hand is a complex integrated system with motor and sensory components that provides individuals with high functionality and elegant behaviour. In direct connection with the brain, the hand is capable of performing countless actions ranging from fine digit manipulation to the handling of heavy objects. However the question of which movements mostly contribute to the manipulation skills of the hand, and thus should be included in prosthetic hands, is yet to be answered. Building from our previous work, and assuming that a hand with independent long fingers allowed performance comparable to a hand with coupled fingers, here we explored the actual contribution of independent fingers while performing activities of daily living using custom built orthoses...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Kimberly Cuevas, Amy Giles
Sensory preconditioning (SPC) is a form of latent learning in which preexposure to co-occurring neutral stimuli (S1 -S2 ) permits subsequent learning to be transferred from one stimulus (S1 ) to the other (S2 ). We examined whether human infants exhibit developmental transitions in the temporal parameters of SPC by manipulating the preexposure regimen. Infants received simultaneous or sequential preexposure to puppets S1 and S2 (Days 1-2); saw target actions modeled on S1 (Day 3); and were tested for deferred imitation with S2 (Day 4)...
November 2016: Developmental Psychobiology
Marie-Noëlle Labour, Mathieu Riffault, Søren T Christensen, David A Hoey
The recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a crucial process in the development, maintenance and repair of tissues throughout the body. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1) is a potent chemokine essential for the recruitment of MSCs in bone, coupling the remodelling cycle. The primary cilium is a sensory organelle with important roles in bone and has been associated with cell migration and more recently TGFβ signalling. Dysregulation of TGFβ signalling or cilia has been linked to a number of skeletal pathologies...
October 17, 2016: Scientific Reports
Iryna Yavorska, Michael Wehr
Cortical inhibitory neurons exhibit remarkable diversity in their morphology, connectivity, and synaptic properties. Here, we review the function of somatostatin-expressing (SOM) inhibitory interneurons, focusing largely on sensory cortex. SOM neurons also comprise a number of subpopulations that can be distinguished by their morphology, input and output connectivity, laminar location, firing properties, and expression of molecular markers. Several of these classes of SOM neurons show unique dynamics and characteristics, such as facilitating synapses, specific axonal projections, intralaminar input, and top-down modulation, which suggest possible computational roles...
2016: Frontiers in Neural Circuits
Benjamin A Seitzman, Malene Abell, Samuel C Bartley, Molly A Erickson, Amanda R Bolbecker, William P Hetrick
EEG studies of wakeful rest have shown that there are brief periods in which global electrical brain activity on the scalp remains semi-stable (so-called microstates). Topographical analyses of this activity have revealed that much of the variance is explained by four distinct microstates that occur in a repetitive sequence. A recent fMRI study showed that these four microstates correlated with four known functional systems, each of which is activated by specific cognitive functions and sensory inputs. The present study used high density EEG to examine the degree to which spatial and temporal properties of microstates may be altered by manipulating cognitive task (a serial subtraction task vs...
October 11, 2016: NeuroImage
Sharlene N Flesher, Jennifer L Collinger, Stephen T Foldes, Jeffrey M Weiss, John E Downey, Elizabeth C Tyler-Kabara, Sliman J Bensmaia, Andrew B Schwartz, Michael L Boninger, Robert A Gaunt
Intracortical microstimulation of the somatosensory cortex offers the potential for creating a sensory neuroprosthesis to restore tactile sensation. Whereas animal studies have suggested that both cutaneous and proprioceptive percepts can be evoked using this approach, the perceptual quality of the stimuli cannot be measured in these experiments. We show that microstimulation within the hand area of the somatosensory cortex of a person with long-term spinal cord injury evokes tactile sensations perceived as originating from locations on the hand and that cortical stimulation sites are organized according to expected somatotopic principles...
October 13, 2016: Science Translational Medicine
Jacob Kjell, Lars Olson
A long-standing goal of spinal cord injury research is to develop effective spinal cord repair strategies for the clinic. Rat models of spinal cord injury provide an important mammalian model in which to evaluate treatment strategies and to understand the pathological basis of spinal cord injuries. These models have facilitated the development of robust tests for assessing the recovery of locomotor and sensory functions. Rat models have also allowed us to understand how neuronal circuitry changes following spinal cord injury and how recovery could be promoted by enhancing spontaneous regenerative mechanisms and by counteracting intrinsic inhibitory factors...
October 1, 2016: Disease Models & Mechanisms
Alex Graves, Greg Wayne, Malcolm Reynolds, Tim Harley, Ivo Danihelka, Agnieszka Grabska-Barwińska, Sergio Gómez Colmenarejo, Edward Grefenstette, Tiago Ramalho, John Agapiou, Adrià Puigdomènech Badia, Karl Moritz Hermann, Yori Zwols, Georg Ostrovski, Adam Cain, Helen King, Christopher Summerfield, Phil Blunsom, Koray Kavukcuoglu, Demis Hassabis
Artificial neural networks are remarkably adept at sensory processing, sequence learning and reinforcement learning, but are limited in their ability to represent variables and data structures and to store data over long timescales, owing to the lack of an external memory. Here we introduce a machine learning model called a differentiable neural computer (DNC), which consists of a neural network that can read from and write to an external memory matrix, analogous to the random-access memory in a conventional computer...
October 12, 2016: Nature
Kerstin Jost, Mike Wendt, Aquiles Luna-Rodriguez, Andreas Löw, Thomas Jacobsen
In choice reaction time (RT) tasks, performance is often influenced by the presence of nominally irrelevant stimuli, referred to as distractors. Recent research provided evidence that distractor processing can be adjusted to the utility of the distractors: Distractors predictive of the upcoming target/response were more attended to and also elicited stronger motor responses. In an event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated whether not only the extent of distractor processing (as suggested by these previous results), but also the timing of distractor-based response activation is subject to strategic control...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Julian Zubek, Michał Denkiewicz, Agnieszka Dębska, Alicja Radkowska, Joanna Komorowska-Mach, Piotr Litwin, Magdalena Stępień, Adrianna Kucińska, Ewa Sitarska, Krystyna Komorowska, Riccardo Fusaroli, Kristian Tylén, Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi
Most of our perceptions of and engagements with the world are shaped by our immersion in social interactions, cultural traditions, tools and linguistic categories. In this study we experimentally investigate the impact of two types of language-based coordination on the recognition and description of complex sensory stimuli: that of red wine. Participants were asked to taste, remember and successively recognize samples of wines within a larger set in a two-by-two experimental design: (1) either individually or in pairs, and (2) with or without the support of a sommelier card-a cultural linguistic tool designed for wine description...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Angel Lago-Rodriguez, R Chris Miall
Prolonged exposure to movement perturbations leads to creation of motor memories which decay towards previous states when the perturbations are removed. However, it remains unclear whether this decay is due only to a spontaneous and passive recovery of the previous state. It has recently been reported that activation of reinforcement-based learning mechanisms delays the onset of the decay. This raises the question whether other motor learning mechanisms may also contribute to the retention and/or decay of the motor memory...
2016: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Maxine T Sherman, Anil K Seth, Ryota Kanai
: It is clear that prior expectations shape perceptual decision-making, yet their contribution to the construction of subjective decision confidence remains largely unexplored. We recorded fMRI data while participants made perceptual decisions and confidence judgments, manipulating perceptual prior expectations while controlling for potential confounds of attention. Results show that subjective confidence increases as expectations increasingly support the decision, and that this relationship is associated with BOLD activity in right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG)...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Christiane B Wiebel, Manish Singh, Marianne Maertens
It is still an unresolved question how the visual system perceives surface lightness given the ambiguity of the sensory input signal. We studied lightness perception using two-dimensional images of variegated checkerboards shown as perspective projections of three-dimensional objects. We manipulated the contrast of a target check relative to its surround either by rendering the image under different viewing conditions or by introducing noncoincidental changes of the reflectance of the surfaces adjacent to the target...
September 1, 2016: Journal of Vision
Berta Alsina, Tanya T Whitfield
The vertebrate inner ear is a precision sensory organ, acting as both a microphone to receive sound and an accelerometer to detect gravity and motion. It consists of a series of interlinked, fluid-filled chambers containing patches of sensory epithelia, each with a specialised function. The ear contains many different differentiated cell types with distinct morphologies, from the flask-shaped hair cells found in thickened sensory epithelium, to the thin squamous cells that contribute to non-sensory structures, such as the semicircular canal ducts...
September 26, 2016: Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Léo Pio-Lopez, Ange Nizard, Karl Friston, Giovanni Pezzulo
Active inference is a general framework for perception and action that is gaining prominence in computational and systems neuroscience but is less known outside these fields. Here, we discuss a proof-of-principle implementation of the active inference scheme for the control or the 7-DoF arm of a (simulated) PR2 robot. By manipulating visual and proprioceptive noise levels, we show under which conditions robot control under the active inference scheme is accurate. Besides accurate control, our analysis of the internal system dynamics (e...
September 2016: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Soyoung Rhee, Gregory W Kirschen, Yan Gu, Shaoyu Ge
The primary cilium, a sensory organelle, regulates cell proliferation and neuronal development of dentate granule cells in the hippocampus. However, its role in the function of mature dentate granule cells remains unknown. Here we specifically depleted and disrupted ciliary proteins IFT20 and Kif3A (respectively) in mature dentate granule cells and investigated hippocampus-dependent contextual memory and long-term plasticity at mossy fiber synapses. We found that depletion of IFT20 in these cells significantly impaired context-dependent fear-related memory...
September 28, 2016: Scientific Reports
Derek Evan Nee, Mark D'Esposito
Working memory refers to a system involved in the online maintenance and manipulation of information in the absence of external input. Due to the importance of working memory in higher-level cognition, a wealth of neuroscience studies has investigated its neural basis. These studies have often led to conflicting viewpoints regarding the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior sensory cortices. Here, we review evidence for each position. We suggest that the relative contributions of the PFC and sensory cortices to working memory can be understood with respect to processing demands...
September 28, 2016: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
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